UConn, Kentucky, Syracuse, Arizona Among Those Courting Hamidou Diallo, Who's Shooting for Spring Decision | Zagsblog
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Monday / July 22.
  • UConn, Kentucky, Syracuse, Arizona Among Those Courting Hamidou Diallo, Who’s Shooting for Spring Decision

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    A parade of high-major coaches has come through Putnam (CT) Science Academy in recent weeks to recruit Hamidou Diallo, maybe the most explosive player in the Class of 2017.

    UConn’s Kevin Ollie, UNLV’s Marvin Menzies and Arizona’s Sean Miller were all in this week, while Indiana’s Tom Crean, Kentucky’s John Calipari, Kansas’ Bill Self and assistants from Syracuse and Arizona State have all been through recently.

    The 6-foot-6 Queens, N.Y., native has yet to set any official visits, but will take an unofficial visit to Syracuse this weekend, a source said.

    “He’s still taking it slow, day-by-day,” Putnam head coach Tom Espinosa said by phone. “He still hasn’t really cut a list or anything. There’s not tons and tons of schools recruiting him at this point, maybe between 7-10 schools that are really recruiting him now. But he’s still planning on making the decision later on.”

    That would presumably be a decision on which college to attend, although Diallo could also go directly to the NBA in 2017, as first reported here more than a month ago.

    Still, Diallo told me last month he wants to go to college and he reiterated that Thursday on Twitter.

    UConn has been working as hard or harder than any other school to keep Diallo in the same state for college as he is for high school.

    “They come once a week like they’re allowed to,” Espinosa said. “They want him, close to New York and play with his boy [UConn freshman] Mamadou [Diarra]. I think those are some of his big selling points.”

    Kentucky has also made Diallo a major priority for 2017, with Calipari visiting him early on at Putnam to show his interest level.

    “It’s kind of what they all say, I guess,” Espinosa said. “He’d be a good fit and they want him.”

    Asked if he will visit there, Diallo told me last month, “I haven’t really thought about visits but I’ll probably visit Kentucky.”

    Syracuse has also been in the mix for some time now.

    “Yeah, they were up maybe a week and a half ago,” Espinosa said. “They love Hami, they want Hami and I know they’ve been recruiting him pretty hard so I know Hami definitely has some interest in them for sure.’

    As for Arizona, Miller and assistant Book Richardson came East this week to see Diallo, along with 6-11 Nick Richards at St. Patrick’s (N.J.) and 6-6 wing Lonnie Walker of Reading (PA).

    “I think he’s going to be a good fit almost anywhere because he’s an explosive player,” Espinosa said. “He’s 6-6, he’s long, he’s athletic. When he gets a little more skilled, he’s going to be extremely good, you know?

    “Even better, he’s good now. But he’s going to be a special player when he becomes a bit more skilled and I think he’d be a great fit at any of these schools, to be honest with you.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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